When Gerald was little, his parents signed his family up to take part in a reality television show called Network Nanny. Instead of helping, the show only exacerbated the issues in Geraldâ€™s homeâ€”namely that his oldest sister Tasha was a psychopath who terrorized Gerald and his sister Lisi, and that their mother never did anything to stop it. In retaliation, little Gerald did the only thing he could to get back at his big bad sister: he took televised dumps on her most treasured possessions, earning the charming nickname the Crapper. His parents, unable to face Tashaâ€™s disturbing behavior, blamed Gerald instead and the actress Nanny, the only one who ever called Tasha on her conduct, gave up after Gerald punched her in frustration. Now the Crapper is seventeen years old, and his reputation precedes him everywhere. As a result of his unfortunate television legacy and living under his sisterâ€™s reign of evil, he has developed a serious anger management problem that causes him to cut himself off from feeling anything so he doesnâ€™t end up hurting anyone. Because lashing out is the only way he knows how to express himself: â€œThe broken arm in freshman year. And nose. And that time I tried to crush a kidâ€™s neck last year. I memorized the walls of the middle school principalâ€™s office. I memorized every inch of the high schoolâ€™s in-school suspension room.â€ But then he meets HER, the one girl who understands how he feels and can maybe even help him turn his life around. But will he ever be able to pull the layers of plastic wrap off his battered heart and learn to trust again? A.S. Kingâ€™s latest is emotionally exhausting and blisteringly real, unlike the staged shows itâ€™s based on. The story unfolds in a series of little ephiphanies as Gerald slowly comes to realize that he can reclaim his life and even fall in love if heâ€™s brave enough to face down his past and confront his parents. The short chapters and spot-on dialogue make the pages fly. After closing the cover, I felt like Iâ€™d been through the psychological wringerâ€”in the best possible way. This is one reality show that tells the truth. For more smart stories of savvy teens who learn to see through adult BS, you’ll want to check out King’s other outstanding titles.
One thought on “Reality Boy by A.S. King”
Thanks for the “Boy Meets Book” suggestions. I’m really struggling to come up with books for my almost13-year-old, who has now decided that “books are boring.” Admittedly, after a visit to the teen section of our library, I was so depressed by the overwhelming amount of cheerleader girl books that I could see where he’s coming from!